Robert Lamoureux | Help! We’re going broke with these gas bills

Robert Lamoureux
Robert Lamoureux
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Question: Hello Robert. Thank you for the helpful information you provide in The Signal column, “Your Home Improvement.” With natural gas bills so high, many Santa Clarita Valley residents will suffer until spring. Could you please advise us what we can do to stay warm in our home without using gas?  

Can you give advice on how to set the thermostat to be more effective, and maybe use electric heaters, weather-stripping, etc.? Finally, how fast can you write and get it into The Signal, as this problem is presently affecting many, especially older adults? Thank you for your assistance. 

— Gene D. 

Answer: Gene, thank you for writing in and being a loyal reader. You can try heating rooms with an infrared space heater (Amazon) that doesn’t draw too many amps, in isolated rooms, for a start.  

As far as the thermostats, you want to set them at 67/68 and bundle up with blankets. Another great thing are the programmable thermostats by Nest that can be tied to your phone and if you have Wi-Fi, you can control them from anywhere. I have them in my home and offices and wouldn’t be without them anymore. I have occasionally left work as well as home, and forgot to shut them off. When I remember, I go to my phone and shut them down. It saves money by being able to do that.  

The weather stripping for doors can also be purchased through Amazon and install them with the small nails that are provided to you with the strips. Along the base of the doors if there is wind entering you can get a “door wind blocker” on Amazon that you place along the floor to minimize the wind from entering, on those Santa Ana wind days. You can also install “door sweeps” at the bottom of the doors that will keep the wind out. I hope this helps. 

Robert Lamoureux has more than 40 years of experience as a general contractor, with separate licenses in electrical and plumbing contracting. He owns IMS Construction Inc. in Valencia. His opinions are his own, not necessarily those of The Signal. Opinions expressed in this column are not meant to replace the recommendations of a qualified contractor after that contractor has made a thorough visual inspection. Email questions to Robert at [email protected].     

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